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Gov't Scrutinizes Spending on Qinghai-Tibet Railway
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The Ministry of Railways has a clean book detailing capital expenditure on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway construction as all costs were closely scrutinized, a railway official said on Thursday.


"We made careful plans and calculations on the railway construction expenditure so as to make best use of the huge investment," said Zhu Zhensheng, vice director of the ministry's office in charge of the railway.


He said that by the end of May, about 29.46 billion yuan had been spent on the Golmud-Lhasa section which runs 1,142 kilometers at more than 4,000 meters above sea level, with the highest point at 5,072 meters.


Seventy-five percent of funding came from treasury bonds while the remaining 25 percent came from a special fund for railway construction. The budgeted investment for the section stands at 33.09 billion yuan.


Zhu said public tendering of the projects had saved about 1.8 billion yuan, which had been set aside to deal with contingencies.


He said the government had regularly inspected expenditure and reported no cases of misuse or graft.


A special inspection team under the National Development and Reform Commission targeting the country's major projects had given "a positive assessment" of the program, he said.


The Qinghai-Tibet railway stretches 1,956 km from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. The section from Xining to Golmud began operation in 1984.


(China Daily June 30, 2006)


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